Over the past nearly two decades, along with my   current students,   post-doctoral fellows,   long-term associates and   former students and post-doctoral scholars and long term collaborators , I have worked on millisecond pulsars, old neutron stars, young neutron stars, brown dwarfs, soft gamma-ray repeaters, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts and new types of optical transients. I love surfing the electromagnetic spectrum and building new gizmos. My current focus is the Palomar Transient Factory, an innovative two-telescope approach to a systematic study of the transient sky. Ongoing instrumentation projects: Robo-AO the first robotic AO (Rayleigh scattering) AO system well suited for 2-m class telescopes; the SED Machine which aims to "leave no transient unclassified". The following are in development phase: Zwicky Transient Facility (47 square degrees FOV on the Oschin 1.2m telescope) aimed at the ultimate exploration of the transient sky (brighter than 21 mag). The expected first light is January 2017. ULTRASAT, an Israel-US project to do the same but in the UV (currently in study phase). With some luck we hope to launch in 2021 (into a near geo-synch orbit).

I hold a McArthur Professorhip in Astronomy & Planetary Science. In 2006 I assumed the Directorship of the Caltech Optical Observatories (which include Palomar, the W. M. Keck Observatory partnership and the Thirty Meter Telescope partnership). In 2007, Cornell University conferred on me the title of Andrew D. White Professor-at-large.

I have a life-long interest in interferometry. For my thesis I built a microwave linked intereferometer between the giant Arecibo reflector and a 30-m dish at Los Canos (10 km NNE). I spent two decades of my life on the now defunct Space Interferometry Misison. Over time I have drifted from radio astronomy to optical astronomy. I love using telescopes and am familiar with Arecibo Observatory, the Very Large Array, Parkes Observatory , Palomar Observatory, and Keck Observatory.

My publications can be found via ADS or Astroph. A CV and bibliography can be found above. Information to contact me can be found here . I enjoy teaching (not sure if it is reciprocated by the students, though). In 2014 I am teaching a Freshman Seminar on "The Automated Discovery of the Universe" and Ph1. In the past I have taught Ay122 (Techniques & Measurements), Ay 123 (Stars), Ay 125 (High Energy Astronomy), Ay126 (Interstellar Medium) and Stars (Ay126).

I was born in the principality of Kurundwad (India) and grew up in Hubli (Karnataka). I was lucky by being able to attending excellent institutions, having inspiring teachers and surrounded by a high quality peer group: Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School), Hubli; the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (MS) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD).

An important part of my academic life at Caltech are the Monday lunches . I meet my theory colleagues (usually Phinney, Ott, Hopkins and occasionally Goldreich and Thorne) theory postdocs and students every Monday at 12 noon. We have a free wheeling discussion on recent results in literature and summaries of recent conferences.

My MO (modus operandi) is to identify fields before they become interesting and to avoid popular fields. Over the next five years (a typical horizon timescale for me) I intend to focus on mini-satellites (payload<60 kg; cf ULTRASAT) and return to Radio Astronomy (which is undergoing a renaissance). I welcome enquiries from hard working, passionate and independendent minded students and post-docs.

  • "1% inspiration + 99% sweat --> achievement" (ref: T. Edison) )
  • "Learn one new idea every day". (SRK motto)
Remote colloquia: NRAO Colloquium  |  Caltech Colloquium  |  STScI  | 
Some talks: U. Chicago colloq (May 2014)    Caltech Colloquium (modified since 2012)